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Cleveland Terrorism Arrest: National Security as performance art

Gerry Bello

The forces that run the country need a supply of non-white others to keep public fear at a high and justify their own power. Without Communism in the evil empire of Russia, Ronald Reagan would have been a stuttering moron not a role model for Bill Clinton. Demetrius N. Pitts, age 48, was arrested and charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to AL-Qaida two days ago on Sunday July 1st. The arrest was the result of an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force “sting” operation that looks like bottom feeding right down to the catphishing.

Pitts is alleged to have converted to Islam in 2015, or at least changed his name twice, although no details have been released as to which Mosque he attended or if he regularly attended prayers at all. Being has Pitts is black, his criminal history has been released and the media has skipped over the mandatory “he was a nice, but troubled neighbor” mandatory filler paragraph that reporters use to prove they drove to a suspect's block to ask random questions of random people when that suspect is white.

Pitts was alleged by the FBI to have made “anti-American” statements on social media “various times between 2015 and 2017.” They sent an undercover agent to pose an an AL-Qaida operative and got Pitts to pledge allegiance. They then gave him a phone with video capability to take video of the targets they selected. Because Pitts was poor, they even bought him a bus pass to help him execute a crime that they themselves planned for him.

Without the FBI there would have been no bomb plot. A man who can not afford a bus pass and a phone can not afford to make a bomb and can not afford a van to put the bomb in. We do not know if Mr. Pitts had the skills needed to make a bomb and a detonator, the chemistry knowledge to make his own explosives, the lab facilities to manufacture them without blowing himself up, or any way to join AL-Qaida without the FBI. That said, it seems pretty unlikely that he did.

This Cleveland task force has a history of creating the crimes they investigate. They did this with the Cleveland 4 in 2011, when they planned the bombing themselves, convinced 4 people that it was a good idea, provided fake explosives, and then arrested the impressionable young people that went along with it.

The same US Attorney, Justin Herdman, and the same FBI agent Steven Anthony, lead the “investigation” on both cases. Both were also the lead investigators in the case of alleged Akron Anonymous member James Robinson, who was held in secret without bail or contact with lawyers and family for weeks in a private prison that is part of the network of immigrant detention centers operated by ICE.

Pitts will likely be convicted. A man who can not afford a bus pass can not afford a competent attorney. A decent attorney would be needed to prove the obvious entrapment. This is where the case hangs in the balance as one of the elements of entrapment is a suspect's predisposition to commit the crime. A suspect has to prove entrapment, the government does not have to prove that it is not entrapment. This is a high burden of proof. Pitts would need a very good lawyer to prove that he is essentially being targeted for being poor, black and saying mean things about the government on Facebook.

Ken White, who is a noted Free Speech advocate and former Assistant US Attorney turned defense lawyer did not mince words when he “lawsplained” about the case. “In other words, from a national security standpoint, I'm concerned this is security theater -- spending lots of law enforcement resources to tell a story using an idiot, and then pretending that we're made the country safer. Have we?” [Editors note: Ken White was this author's unserved but named co-defendant in a defamation lawsuit brought by Noe-Nazi lawyer Jason Lee Van Dyke. The case was dismissed with prejudice. The Mockingbird has no formal relationship with White, although we find his commentary on legal issues, which he calls “lawsplaining” very informative and often very funny. Especially when he tells people to “snort my taint.”]

A nail has been struck on the head and driven by Mr. White on this case. Herdman called the terror plot “an attack on our values,” apparently referencing the date of the planned bombing. He did not mention that the FBI planned the bombing for the 4th of July in this context. The whole plot was designed, by the government, to spread fear and advance the careers of those involved. Ken White calls this National Security theater, I prefer the term performance art. It makes little difference. The bottom line is that Justin Herdman wants white people to be afraid of black Muslim people on the 4th of July and he is willing to imprison a man for life to spread that fear.